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094: Kristy Powers: At 16 I had to live on my own

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Kristy Powers Show Notes

Kristy Powers was 16 years old and had to move away from home. As an honors student Kristy was determined to finish school. Needing to support herself, Kristy was able to find a source of income and food. Listen to how she was able to get over this adult sized hump at such a young age.

Kristy was raised with one sister and three brothers in Ormond Beach, Florida, a town that cozies up to Daytona Beach, “The world’s most famous beach.” She had an independent start at young adulthood having lived on her own since she was 16. She finished high school with honors and attended college while working several waitressing jobs. Kristy began her professional career quite young having been promoted to serve as Executive Assistant and Resort Manager at a country club at the age of 18.

Through her early experiences, Kristy discovered her love for serving and leading others with a strong belief that those go hand in hand. She credits two early influences that helped her find her way; Tom Hopkins, best-selling author & famed, international sales trainer and Robin Leach, the host of the tv show, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” Tom taught her that everyone is a salesperson; selling ideas, opinions and themselves every day. Robin taught her “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams.” Both of these ideas led her to believe and invest in herself for a good life.

Kristy has built three industry recognized contact centers from the ground up and led positive changes toward award-winning service in two others. Currently, she is the Manager of Quality Service with Navy Federal Credit Union, the world’s largest credit union. Kristy and her team have recently taken their 3500 person contact center on a Quality Evolution to elevate the service provided to members and team members every day.

In her spare time, Kristy enjoys cooking and entertaining friends in the home that she and her husband Greg share in a Virginia suburb of Washington D.C.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @KristyPowers and get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Our Baby Boomers are retiring and there not enough Gen X’ers to take over.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet

“What quotes inspire you about your desired competencies?” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“What do you want your behavior to look like in the future?” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“Look to grow, it could be the difference between being great and being a rock star.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“What did you do this week for your development?” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“What do you intend to do next week for your development?” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“It’s real easy to put a development plan together and shove it in a drawer.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“Put your goals out to the universe; many things can come your way.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“Other people want to help you do your best.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“Empowerment pays off for all of us.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“Sometimes we’re going to mess up; it’s okay as long as we learn from it.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“It will all turn out okay as along as we have the best of intentions.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“I need to flex my communication style to ensure I get the best response from others.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet 

“Age and experience has helped me focus more on people.” -Kristy Powers Click to Tweet  

Hump to Get Over

Kristy Powers was 16 years old and had to move away from home. As an honors student Kristy was determined to finish school. Needing to support herself, Kristy was able to find a source of income and food. Listen to how she was able to get over this adult sized hump at such a young age.

Advice for others

Help others to dream more, learn more, become more and do more.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Nothing. If it’s to be it’s up to me.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Leadership is a lot like parenting. It takes, love, wisdom, direction, clear expectations, sometimes discipline, and lots of laughter.

Secret to Success

My ability to comfortably lead in ambiguity.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

Amazon prime and MBTI.

Recommended Reading

The Inspiring Leader: Unlocking the Secrets of How Extraordinary Leaders Motivate

Contacting Kristy

email: kristy_powers [at] navyfederal.org

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristypowers

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KristyPowers

Resources

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.


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Click to access edited transcript
094: Kristy Powers: At 16 I had to live on my own

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

Need a powerful and entertaining way to ignite your next conference, retreat or team-building session? My keynote don’t include magic but they do have the power to help your attendees take a leap forward by putting emotional intelligence into their employee engagement, customer engagement and customer centric leadership practices. So bring the infotainment creativity the Fast Leader show to your next event and I’ll help your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more.

Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader Legion, today we’re going to have a great show because the guest that I have today, the first time we met it was so intriguing to me that I had to have her on the show. Kristy Powers was born and raised with the sister and two brothers in Ormond Beach, Florida a town that cozies up to Daytona Beach, the world’s most famous beach. She had an independent start at young adulthood having lived on her own since she was 16. She finished high school with honors and attended college while working several waitress jobs. Kristy begin her professional career quite young having been promoted to serve as executive assistant and resort manager at a country club at the age of 18. Through her early experiences, Kristy discovered her love for serving and leading others with a strong belief that those go hand-in-hand.

She credits two early influences that helped her find her way, Tom Hopkins’s best-selling author and famed international sales trainer and Robin Leach the host of the TV show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Tom taught her that everyone is a salesperson selling ideas, opinions, and themselves every day. Robin taught her that champagne wishes and caviar dreams are important. Both of those ideas letter to believe and invest in herself for a good life. Kristy has built three industry recognized contact centers from the ground up and let positive changes towards award-winning service in two others.

Currently she is the manager of quality service with Navy Federal Credit Union, the world’s largest credit union. Kristy and her team have recently taken their 3,500 person contact center on equality evolution to elevate the service provided to members and team members every day. In her spare time Kristy enjoys cooking and entertaining with friends in the home that she and her husband Greg share in a Virginia suburb of Washington D.C. Kristy Powers, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Kristy Powers: I am totally ready to get over the hump today.

Jim Rembach: I’m glad to have you. Now I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better.

Kristy Powers: Of course, Jim. So, my current passion right now is thinking about the young leaders that we have at work. It’s we’re reaching in time in my company where a lot of our baby boomers are retiring and they’re not enough of us Generation X’ers to take over and we’re counting on our millennials to fulfill some of those roles. And helping guide their careers and prepare them to develop competencies that will make them successful, is what I’m focused on right now.

Jim Rembach: I know what you’re saying is really an issue for a lot of organizations and I think many of them are, unfortunately, not being really proactive with this particular issue. ‘Because when you look at the sheer numbers associated with, let’s just say, loss of leadership skill and talent. I think there was something that I read said, “In 20 years, essentially 75 to 80% of the leaders that we have now are going be out of the workforce, what are your numbers look like?

Kristy Powers: We’re an 85% year old company and so many of our leaders are highly ten years in organization, have a lot of institutional knowledge and have been with us for 30/35 years. As we look to the future we have a subset of the middle population of Gen X’ers and then we have a huge millennial population coming in it’s also the same with our member base. So, the great thing about having so many millennials join our workforce at Navy Federal Credit Union, is that many of the members who join us with their [4:09 inaudible]so we’re able to get a lot of good ideas from our millennial workforce to help us meet the needs of our members.

Jim Rembach: You know that’s another great thing to look at and I don’t think that’s probably part of the planning process for a lot of organizations is that when you start looking at the people who are really having the money to buy products and services, the percentage of those folks are becoming younger and younger and so they’re buying power is becoming bigger. Even when you start talking about kids in the home, lot times organizations don’t think about even their buying power. Now, the money is through their parents, of course, but they still have the ability to influence and make decisions on things that they want their parents to buy for them. And making that connection is going to make a better experience. So, how do you beyond what you had mentioned, tactically do that at Navy Federal Credit Union?

Kristy Powers: We have an amazing learning and development platform and team and they help us facilitate a lot of these discussions. So we use a competency based system to help people learn, grow and develop. So, for example, on my team, I’ve a team of about 130 people in four locations, and we do individual development plans where we focus on two to three competencies a year. And part of that is to talk about things like what quote inspire you about this competency? What do you look like right now? What do you want to look like in the future, your behavior, and the way that people react to you in this competency? And what are some things you can do in between time to help grow within those competencies? What’s interesting about that is it really take people on a deep dive and I even do this one for myself so it takes you only deep dive to look at yourself and what you have to offer and where you can grow. It doesn’t mean that you’re not skilled in those competencies but it could made the difference between being great and being a rock star.

So, then every Friday we have something called Friday Fives and this was introduced to me by an executive coach with Lama Garr, who I’m really pleased to work with, and what my team members do is, and I do this as well and I send them to my boss and one of my mentors, is that you take five minutes on Friday and write down what you learn this week, what you did this week for your development, what you learn, and what you intend to do next week. And the important part of that process of the Friday Fives is it keeps you accountable, a lot of times it’s really easy to put a development plan together and shove it in a drawer and not look at it again until the next year and so this makes you really think about it throughout the week actively pursue ways to open yourself up to experiences that help you build on this competencies.

I’ll give you an example, most recently I was talking to one of my colleagues at work and I was telling them about a competency I wanted to build on and she said, “Oh, if you want to build on that competency there’s this quarterly meeting, strategic meeting, that you can go to where we really talk about this things that you’re interested in learning, how about if I get you an invite?” What was so important about that is what I kind of put it out to others and put my goals out to the universal to know, it was incredible how many people would step up and help me. That is about the third time since I started this new IDP last month that I’ve shared it was someone and they reach back to help me and so we look to do that with our team members too. And so that we’re now focused on building this competencies and it’s top of mind it is incredible how many things come your way when they’re in your space to recognize them.

Jim Rembach: I think there’s some really key thing that you said there, and thanks for sharing is that—you talked about IDP and for those that aren’t familiar with that, that’s and Individual going down this path and not even really having that “ask for the help” it’s amazing what comes to you just when other people are aware of it because by and large we want to help others, and we want to help others be successful in our society. And when you start talking about customer care and customer service, we just have a larger percentage of those folks which is great but you got to put yourself out there. And the other thing that you mentioned is quotes, and of course you know we love those on the Fast Leader show, is there a quote or two that inspires you that you can share?

Kristy Powers: There is and it is actually framed in office. And it’s by John Quincy Adams it says,You’re your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more then you are a leader.” That really resonates with me because think about leaders that I’ve respected in my life and that’s exactly what they’ve done for me. They’ve helped me see that I could dream more, learn more, become more, do more. When we provide that to people it makes it really easier for all of us to join the ride.

Jim Rembach: We also have been told and we don’t always feel it is that, when we give gifts we actually have greater levels of fulfillment than when we receive those gifts. Well, when you start talking about those folks helping you and making that offer those are gifts that was also fulfilling for them and if we share in that it just makes it a much, much more abundant place to be around and those are the kind of work environments that will attract those millennials and retain them and boost of more of organizations are trying to be able to figure how to do that and that is a great tactic and method to really attract and retain the younger generation is to share those things and create those environments. We’ve had the opportunity to chat on several occasions and I’ve just really enjoyed getting to know you more and your background and story and the things you have go through—oh, gosh, we talked about it building character and that you even said that you wouldn’t be the person that you are today if it wasn’t going through those early childhood or I should say early adulthood learnings, and so those are huge humps. We have a lot of humps that we have to go through in order to build us as people and hopefully it’s also for the better. Is there a story that you can share that will help us gain more strength?

Kristy Powers: Jim, everybody has a story and this one’s mine. At 16 years old I had to move away from home. I was an honor student and I need this to finish school, living by myself. So I work six days a week in a 24-hour restaurants and go to work from 3:00 to 11:00 where I could eat two meals for free, which is pretty easy on the pack a buck and then on Friday’s and Saturday’s I’d work doubles 3:00 to 11:00 and then 11:00 to 7:00 because the money was just so good and there was a free food galore. It is I started my professional career, I was still working two jobs up until I felt secure enough that I could pay my bills with one job. And through that I would say the most important thing I learned were fierce independence, salesmanship, resiliency, tenacity, work ethic and really, really good problem solving. I’m good with change and do well in uncertain circumstances and a lot of times people will ask me, “why those change not stress you out?” and it’s because throughout my life I’ve experience so much change and I’ve just had a role with it. I was free to make my own decisions at a really young age but I was not free to be risky. This kind of circumstances don’t always turn out well for kids like me and was really lucky and grateful that my parents set me up at a young age to have a good head on my shoulders.

Jim Rembach: Maybe the good head on your shoulders as far as the way that they set you up from a DNA perspective but to be able to go through that that’s yet a whole different level. Now you had mentioned something about going through that experience and gaining this fierce independence. Well, we all know that having that fierce independence is something that doesn’t help when you’re part of an organization to move things forward and really manage change and execute change. So, how have you been able to make sure that that fierce independence wasn’t undermining your ability to move forward?

Kristy Powers: In the beginning when I was young in my career I would say it did get in the way. But what I learn is that it was not effective and I wasn’t getting the response that I was looking for. Other people want to participate, other people want to help you do your best and as they do their best and it brings me back to working with someone who’s a very dear friend to me now, she was the team member on my team and she said, “Kristy, if you’ll let me get to know you a little bit better I will work harder for you than you ever imagine.” And it really made me take a pause, I was in my 20’s and I thought she’s being vulnerable with me by telling me this? And I need to receive that and I did and it change the way I lead people and how I help them participate. It really goes back to the Jonathan Yado’s quote, “I needed to be one that would help others grow and learn more, do more and be more.” At that time I was working 90+ hours in a dot com for the dot com gold rush in Washington D.C. and she was the one that I learned the most from.

Jim Rembach: That was definitely a huge benefit because when you start putting that whole piece together of “I know what it takes” in order to be able to not just survive but thrive and also learning the components of being able to do it as a collective, I know you have to be a great team member and highly valued and that’s one of the thing that also intrigue me as I was learning more about you I saw where you were recognized for being—you say a leader that has received awards for being good at what you do and that I think just all culminated. And so, when you start looking at all of these things, that you been part of that you want to be part of, what are some your goals?

Kristy Powers: Some of my goals really are to, at this point in my career, to help more people. I know that throughout my lifetime so many people helped me and how important that was to having a good career and having a good life. And so as I look out towards that work in my team and the people that I influence and my husband’s business, where we touch so many people every day, how can I be the positive force for helping them accomplish their goals.

Jim Rembach: And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

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Alright here we go Fast Leader Legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Kristy, the Hump Day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So, I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Kristy Powers are you ready to hoedown?

Kristy Powers: I am ready to hoedown, Jim.

Jim Rembach: Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

Kristy Powers: If it’s to be it’s up to me. I’m constantly pushing myself to learn more. I’ve also been very lucky throughout my career to have great leaders to help me soar. Right now my own senior leaders give me a lot of opportunity to do my thing and forge a new pass and that empowerment pays off for all of us.

Jim Rembach: What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

Kristy Powers: An old boss of mine said, “Leadership is a lot like parenting.” Now, I’m not a parent but I have found it to be true. It takes love, wisdom, direction, clear expectations sometimes sprinkling of discipline and lot of laughter’s. sometimes we’re going to mess up and it’s okay as long as we learn from it, move on, it will all turn out okay as long as we have the best of intentions.

Jim Rembach: What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

Kristy Powers: Definitely my ability to work comfortably in leading ambiguity, it’s been a main contributor to my success. I generally can see where to go and I think it’s a gift I received in exchange for the security during my younger years. I only needed a few things to get me started and my team and I can accomplish anything.

Jim Rembach: What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

Kristy Powers: Oh, I have two. Amazon Prime, NBT. Amazon Prime because things that I need to help boost my career and learn. Books it take me on a journey, music that helps soothe the tensions when things get tough can show about my door the next day. The other is MBTI the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and it uncovers psychologic preferences and how people perceive the world and make decisions. I’m an ENTJ and I recognize that only 2% of the population is ENTJ and only 1% of those are women. That means 98% to 99% population is not like me. And so I have learned to flex my communication style to ensure that I get the best response out of others. I would say that Amazon Prime NBTI, those are my two top tools.

Jim Rembach: What would be one book, and it could be from any genre, that you recommend to our listeners?

Kristy Powers: Hands down, The Inspiring Leader by John Zenger.

Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader listeners, you could links to that and other bonus information from today show by going to fastleader.net/Kristy Powers. Okay Kristy, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything you can only choose one, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Kristy Powers: Ah, 25 the quarter-life crisis. First of all, you couldn’t pay me to go back to my 20’s but I would say that I would be more patient with myself and with others. During my time when I was around 25 I was working for that dot com and I did not have the patience that we necessary to lead as effective as I would like and I was not nearly as patient on myself. Age and experience has definitely helped me focused on family, friends, team members, and people in my life more than ever before.

Jim Rembach: Kristy, it was an honor to spend time with you today, can you please share with the Fast Leader Legion how they can connect with you?

Kristy Powers: Yes. You can find me @Kristy Powers on Twitter. You can also find me at Kristy_Powers@navyfederal.org.

Jim Rembach: Kristy Powers, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

END OF AUDIO

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